The March of Folly

Folly is the pursuit by governments of policies contrary to their own interersts.

Barbara W. Tuchman, The March of Folly: from Troy to Vietnam, Ballantine Books, 1985.

Twice a winner of the Pulitzer Prize, author Barbara Tuchman tackles the pervasive presence of folly in governments through the ages.

Defining folly as the pursuit by governments of policies contrary to their own interersts, despite the availability of feasible alternatives, Tuchman details four decisive turning points in history that illustrate the very heights of folly in government: the Trojan War, the breakup of the Holy See provoked by the Renaissance Popes, the loss of the American colonies by Britain's George III, and the United States' persistent folly in Vietnam.

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